James Gunn Will Direct “Superman: Legacy”

Newly minted DC Studios co-chief James Gunn will be writing and directing Superman: Legacy in one of the studio’s most marquee upcoming movies.

Legacy will feature a younger actor in the role of Clark Kent, will be Gunn’s next directorial effort, and is one of the most important new films for the revamped studio under the new vision Gunn is implementing alongside his DC Studios co-chief Peter Safran. Gunn has been working on the script for a while now—since before he and Safran took the reigns at DC—and it’ll be the first film in their tenure and the first new stand-alone Superman film since Zack Snyder’s 2013 Man of Steel, which starred Henry Cavill. Cavill went on to portray Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017) and had a brief cameo in Black Adam (2022). Cavill’s time as Clark Kent has come to an end, and the role will now be one of the most sought-after in Hollywood.

Superman: Legacy will focus on this younger version of the iconic character, which Safran described this way to reporters in January when he and Gunn unveiled the first part of their DC Studios slate: “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness is old-fashioned.”

Gunn is no stranger to the superhero realm, of course, with his third and final Guardians of the Galaxy installment coming out this May 5 for Marvel Studios. He also helmed The Suicide Squad in 2021 for DC Studios—well before he took over—and both the Guardians franchise and Suicide Squad allowed him to play with some of the lesser-known, goofier superheroes in the Marvel and DC canon.

Clearly, that will not be the case with Superman: Legacy, which features arguably the most iconic superhero of them all (Batman die-hards will quibble) and will present Gunn a chance to meld his offbeat sensibility with a character his own co-chief described as literally embodying kindness. It will be fun to see what the man who brought us a talking tree (the Guardians‘ Groot), a talking raccoon (the Guardians‘ Rocket), and all those weirdos in The Suicide Squad does with such a beloved, wholesome American hero.

Superman: Legacy is slated for a July 11, 2025 release date and will be the first feature for DC Studios under Gunn and Safran’s leadership.

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Featured image: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 02: James Gunn attends the Warner Bros. premiere of “The Suicide Squad” at Regency Village Theatre on August 02, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)


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